Pula Advisors Nigeria Ltd, an agric insurtech firm, has clarified that it played no part in N2.7 billion loan that Sadolene Farms is alleged to have diverted to real estate, in a note to BusinessDay Wednesday.
The allegation of the diversion of a central bank loan under the Anchor Borrowers Programme (ABP) is being investigated by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).
‘Pula serves as a consultant to about 16 insurance companies in Nigeria on index agricultural insurance where we price for them and do field activities to determine the extent of losses through a process called Crop Cutting Experiment, and so Pula is never a client or partner to Sadolene Farms, the insurtech firm said.
Samson Ajibola, country director, Pula Adviser Nigeria Ltd in a note to Business Day said the firm was never an anchor under ABP nor does Pula have any contract under ABP.
He also stated that Pula never anchored any fraud or any transaction with any bank under ABP.
“We had no engagement with Sadolene Farms or writing on behalf of any farmer to any bank . Our contract is with the insurer or the underwriter and our job is well stated in the contracts we have with the insurer to design and execute Area Yield Index Insurance for crops.”
He also stated that the product is widely acceptable within Nigeria and outside of the country, and has served many farmers in Nigeria since 2017.
“It is a product that insures the yield of group farmers in a given location against a historical yield threshold, and Pula’s insurance partners have paid about N5.4 billion, equal to $11.9 million to insured farmers in the last 4 years.”
Read also: Anchor borrowers: N800bn disbursed to farmers- Osinbajo
Pula hires many Nigerian youth seasonally to go measure the yield of farmers in the area where the insurance covers, Ajibola stated.
Explaining the misunderstanding about its role in the transaction, Ajibola said that by the terms of the policy, the insurer was supposed to provide us with the farmers list to be sampled, the said list never got to us until 30th October 2020 and we had commenced sampling since early September.
“Since we have other farmers under the same ABP for the same crop in the area where Sadolene planted, we decided to sample those other farmers which is in tandem with the conditions of the policy. It was based on the samples taken from the area and as permitted by the policy document that we advised the insurer to payout. We have not supported execution of any fraudulent act but actually helped the crime investigators to reach a quick conclusion with robust data and technologies.”